Local rain-makers

Mid-winter swim

June 21 marked the winter solstice. In an effort to encourage a statewide rainfall event, four local farmers stripped down for a mid-winter dip…in a pool.

The water was a mild 11 degrees, so the speed in which the participants exited the water was startling. Kayleigh Parker was on hand to capture the event, but check out the video on the Plains Producer Facebook page to see for yourself. The farmers who braved the icy waters were (picture above, left to right) Gary and Justin Zweck of Blyth, Andrew Parker and Wayne Heaslip of Owen. If it doesn’t rain soon, Andrew Manuel and Les Pearson are thinking of nuding up for a repeat performance.

    Soils ain’t soils

These photos of wheat were taken in the same paddock, which was sown on April 27. The first is sandy loam, the second heavy river silt. What a difference a soil type makes! These photos, taken by Jake Harkness of Owen, demonstrate the stark difference soil types have in a dry season. Farms across the state are now at crisis point with some districts not having completed seeding, whilst other areas, including the West Coast, have barely started. In those regions the question will be whether to sow at all, as ground temperatures are so low that it will take about four weeks for the seedlings to emerge. This will put your crop emergence in August, requiring a very wet spring to finish.

Read the full story in our online edition: http://plainsproducer.realviewdigital.com